Body louse genome sequencing begins

Dec 09, 2005

Purdue University's Barry Pittendrigh and the University of Massachusetts' John Clark have been named to begin sequencing the complete body louse genome.

Body lice reportedly carry some of the most infamous and deadly diseases that have plagued people for centuries. Pittendrigh, an insect geneticist, and Clark, an environmental toxicologist, say they hope work will lead to pest control methods that prevent the spread of diseases, such as relapsing fever, trench fever and typhus.

"If we have a relatively complete louse genome, we can do experiments necessary to discover how lice can digest human blood and transmit disease," said Pittendrigh, a Purdue associate professor of entomology. "The more we learn about the biochemical workings of these tiny creatures, the greater our chance of impacting issues associated with human health."

The louse genome sequencing continues the national genome institute's emphasis on using comparative genomic sequencing analysis to understand the structure and function of the human genome and the biological processes involved in human diseases.

The body louse genome is one of seven non-mammalian organisms chosen this year for the program and one of three targeted for a high-quality sequence.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: A two generation lens: Current state policies fail to support families with young children

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Louse genetics offer clues on human migrations

Feb 27, 2013

A new genetic analysis of human lice from across the world sheds light on the global spread of these parasites, their potential for disease transmission and insecticide resistance. The results are published February 27 in ...

Recommended for you

New hadrosaur noses into spotlight

Sep 19, 2014

Call it the Jimmy Durante of dinosaurs – a newly discovered hadrosaur with a truly distinctive nasal profile. The new dinosaur, named Rhinorex condrupus by paleontologists from North Carolina State Univer ...

Scholar tracks the changing world of gay sexuality

Sep 19, 2014

With same-sex marriage now legalized in 19 states and laws making it impossible to ban homosexuals from serving in the military, gay, lesbian and bisexual people are now enjoying more freedoms and rights than ever before.

User comments : 0